Austrian GP 2020

Austrian GP 2020

The F1 circus is starting again! The first race of the new decade is finally coming. The pre-season testing, although completed 4 months ago, showed us that Mercedes is still the team to beat in 2020. The world champions have not rested on their laurels and pushed hard during the winter break. Their latest innovation is the so-called DAS (dual-axis steering) system which allows Mercedes’ drivers to adjust the alignment of the front wheels (from toe-out to neutral) from the cockpit. Whether this is a game-changer or not remains to be seen. However, FIA has already banned it for 2021 when their is a major overhaul of F1 rules.

Major driver changes have already been signed for next year. Vettel is leaving Scuderia, and most probably retiring, Sainz is taking Vettel’s place alongside Leclerc while Ricciardo is moving to McLaren. This means that Hamilton will remain at Mercedes almost certainly while Bottas faces tough competition.

The biggest talking point in Austria this week will be the pecking order of the cars after some development between Barcelona and now. Despite a necessary lockdown of the teams’ factories, all constructors will present cars we’ve never seen before. Has the 4-month break made the drivers rusty? I doubt it, but it remains to be seen.

Going back to the predictions, the model has not seen the pre-season testing data. The reason is that I have not found any data source providing these data consistently for the past seasons. As a result, rather expectedly the model predicts a Mercedes 1-2 for both qualifying and the race. Interestingly, Perez is predicted to start at P7 – a year when Racing Point decided to copy Mercedes’ 2019 car with the hope of being the best of the rest.

Driver Qualifying Prediction Actual Qualifying Result Race Prediction Actual Race Result
Bottas 3 1 2 1
Leclerc 2 7 7 2
Norris 11 3 4 3
Hamilton 1 5 1 4
Sainz 10 8 8 5
Perez 6 6 5 6
Gasly 14 12 12 7
Ocon 12 14 14 8
Giovinazzi 8 18 18 9
Vettel 5 11 11 10
Latifi 19 20 20 11
Kvyat 15 13 13 R
Albon 9 4 6 R
Raikkonen 7 19 15 R
Russell 18 17 19 R
Grosjean 17 15 16 R
Magnussen 16 16 17 R
Stroll 20 9 9 R
Ricciardo 13 10 10 R
Verstappen 4 2 3 R
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2 thoughts on “Austrian GP 2020

  1. More-less agree with predictions. The rules remain the same, so results shouldn’t be much different. Maybe Red Bull will be slightly faster than a Ferrari at the beginning. And Maybe Bottas will be faster than Hamilton in Australia. Also, as usual, Start of the season full of surprises, fails and technical problems.

    1. The midfield battle is going to be the most interesting in Australia (apart from Ferrari’s performance). Let’s see.

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